The MT of Hos 13:2a criticizes Israelites for producing idols “according to their skill” (כתבונם). The grammatical difficulty of the Hebrew phrase, the evidence of the ancient versions, and Mesopotamian analogues to the Israelite understanding of cult images all support emending כתבונם to כתבניתם, “according to their [the idols'] model.” This reading makes good sense in the context of Israel's renewed revolt against Assyria in 721–719 b.c.e. Israelites sought to ensure divine aid for the revolt by manufacturing new cult images according to the model of images they had lost earlier in 722 b.c.e.

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